Working Paper

Intellectual Property Rights and Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Industry and Host-Country Characteristics


  • Nunnenkamp
  • P.
  • Spatz
  • J.
Publication Date

This paper aims at overcoming several shortcomings of previous empirical studies on the relationship between IPR protection and FDI. First, FDI is analyzed on a sectorally and regionally disaggregated level. Second, we address the proposition that stronger IPR protection raises not only the quantity, but also the quality of FDI. Third, we check to which extent the relationship between IPR protection and FDI is affected by applying alternative measures of IPR protection. Our empirical findings support the hypothesis that the threat of an unauthorized use of intellectual-property-related assets and, thus, FDI depends on industry as well as host-country characteristics. Furthermore, stronger IPR protection tends to induce high-quality FDI.


JEL Classification
F21, F23

Key Words

  • host-country characteristics
  • imitative capacity
  • industry characteristics
  • intellectual property rights
  • ownership advantages
  • quantity and quality of FDI